Pre-School Two at Circus Day Nursery...
“It’s not so much what children learn through play, but what they won’t learn if we don’t give them the chance to play. Many functional skills like literacy and arithmetic can be learned either through play or through instruction – the issue is the amount of stress on the child. However, many coping skills like compassion, self-regulation, self-confidence, the habit of active engagement, and the motivation to learn and be literate cannot be instructed. They can only be learned through self-directed experience (i.e. play). ~ Susan J. Oliver (author, Playing for Keeps)
During the Preschool Two stage at Circus Day Nursery we focus on giving children all they need to ensure they are prepared to make a smooth transition to school. Our setting follows the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) principles, from birth to five years throughout the nursery and this is used to create the “transition to school record” which will be carried out in the summer before your child attends School. This statutory framework instils a broad range of knowledge and skills, however learning is still child led and achieved in a very creative and exploratory way through play.
For example, instead of asking a child to colour a picture of an object, we will give the child the actual object to explore. So their sense of sight, touch, smell and even taste can be developed in relation to the object instead of experiencing it in a linear fashion on paper, giving the children the opportunity to create their own interpretation and being mindful that the experience is about the “process not the product” at the end.
Following the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage’ gives assurance to parents and school teachers, that children will start school ready and able to learn. The EYFS covers three Prime area and four Specific areas of learning that are all interconnected: these areas are Personal, social and emotional development, Communication and language, Physical Development, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the world and Expressive Art and Design.
The department has two large bright and airy classrooms for the children to explore as well as a separate bathroom adjacent to the rooms to encourage independence. The large dining room is also separate and doubles as an area for messy activities too. Meal times are an opportunity for children to learn life skills by self serving their food and helping each other as well as setting the tables together. The group also benefits from a small room that they have developed aptly named “The mindfulness room” a tranquil space where a small group can carry out yoga or an individual child can have some quiet time. Staff are skilled at understanding their key children’s needs and encourage the use of this space for promoting calm, reflection and rest.
Children and parents also enjoy these benefits of Pre-School at Circus:
● The children are asked to “self register” each morning by way of practicing their name or simply posting their name into a box
● Children can purchase a “uniform” to wear in the form of a burgundy polo top.
● From time to time we arrange visits from Zoolab with various animals, from tarantulas and snakes to rabbits and insects
● Two degas, Daphne and Daisy share a lovely home beside Frank the snail and our stick insects, located in the mezzanine area by the main office.
● The fire and police departments also visit the children – along with their respective vehicles
● There is an Apple computers, and I pads for children to use to develop fine motor skills, knowledge and understanding of the world, the use of keyboard, letters, numbers, to name just a few skills.
● We invite and welcome teachers to visit our setting during the month of July to meet any of our children starting school in September. This is also a useful and beneficial opportunity for our staff to share completed Transition Records with the class teacher and discuss a child’s individual development.
● When the staff team have completed the transition records you will be invited for a meeting with your child’s key-worker to discuss the document and share thoughts on your child’s transition to school.
Our Secret Garden
Children from Clown Floor up all explore the outside world safely in our ‘Secret Garden’. So when our children reach pre-school age they are accustomed to contributing to the development of our nature area by using their own ideas and imaginations. Will they create an area to welcome fairies into the garden? Or would they like to plant a specific type of flower? All this creativity combined with the benefits of outdoor play in the fresh air improve focus and increase a child’s self-esteem.
Various activities take place including language development, physical activities such as Dance, Mini Yoga, Tots Tennis, to name a few. Children are encouraged to explore and just have a go…